Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley’s pursuit to be the best has continued in earnest almost a week after his side’s 2020 season was prematurely ended.
The Power had clinched the minor premiership before winning their way through to a first Preliminary Final since 2014 after beating Geelong in the Qualifying Final some three weeks ago.
But they fell to reigning premier Richmond in the penultimate match of the campaign, going down by six points at the Adelaide Oval last Friday night.
In the aftermath, Hinkley has been forensically investigating the loss to the Tigers in a bid to find ways where his side can improve in 2021.
Hinkley was still busy on Thursday morning going through the replay with a fine-toothed comb, trying to find the “little moments” and “small margins” his side requires to win a Preliminary Final.
“There’s so many things that go on in a game of football. You measure those bits that could have cost you,” he said on SEN SA Breakfast.
“I’m just watching one little bit of play currently that you see a kick-in where we don’t get the ball to ground in the contest, it goes straight back at us and (Tom) Lynch marks the ball in the contest and kicks a goal.
“So there’s a one-goal margin swing that we had control of the ball and we gave it straight back.
“Those sort of things, the territory battles that we lost around stoppage. Our boys had been enormous there all year. Unfortunately in the second half of that game, Richmond were able to get well on top in the stoppage control.”
Hinkley admitted there were some things he and his coaches got wrong in the eventual defeat to Damien Hardwick’s Tigers, but felt that overall the Power had enough chances to win the game.
“I looked at my own performance and our coaching team performance because we lost control at stoppage,” he added.
“That’s where we can support the boys. We tried some things but we couldn’t give them the right answer. Credit to Richmond, they kept answering whatever it is that we threw at them.
“We still had 14 more forward (50) entries than the opposition. We weren’t doing too much wrong but we were doing enough to lose by a kick to the best team in the competition over the last four years.
“We gave ourselves a red-hot crack at it and a good look at it but we just didn’t get it done.”
Port finished the home-and-away season on top of the ladder with a 14-3 record in what was an extremely positive year for the club despite their Preliminary Final shortcomings.